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Boeing Denying Partner Benefits To WA Gays Despite Marriage Equality

The Seattle-based Boeing Corporation has told union reps that it won’t supply gay and lesbian employees with pension survivor benefits, despite the recent passage of marriage equality in Washington State.

Ray Goforth, director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA),  says he’s long tried to get the aerospace giant to extend benefits to same-sex partners of gay employees. But with the passage of Referendum 74 on Election Day, SPEEA was able to put some weight behind its demand.

Boeing didn’t bite.

“Their answer was that they had no intention of granting pension survivor benefits to legally married same-sex couples because they didn’t have to,” Goforth told the Stranger.

Pension laws are governed by federal law, and with DOMA still in effect, that supersedes any state regulations. “We were profoundly disappointed to see that they would use a loophole to engage in institutionalized discrimination,” lamented Goforth.

Rumors of an imminent strike have surfaced, which could affect the nation’s economy: Every month Boeing builds more than 50 jets, worth an estimated $8 billion a pop.

In a statement to employees on Monday, Boeing claimed it “is taking a closer look at how R-74 might impact company policies once it takes effect in December” but Goforth says the company didn’t mince words during negotiations. “They were quite firm—that they weren’t required to honor Washington State state law on this matter [and] they said they weren’t going to.”

Photo: Grippenn

On:           Nov 23, 2012
Tagged: , , , , , ,
    • hudson

      Pretty brazen bigotry.

      One more reason the US needs a federally recognized SMM policy- state by state policies allow this kind of sidestepping. Pathetic.

      I’d be interested to know who the board of directors is and if they have connections to any anti-gay groups.


      Nov 23, 2012 at 7:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hudson

      oops. …..SSM policy…..

      Nov 23, 2012 at 7:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jerry_pritikin

      What else would you expect by this fly-by-night company?

      Nov 23, 2012 at 8:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      And it is blatant bigotry like this that will help the arguments before the Supreme Court that DOMA needs to be struct down because while it is there, there is NEVER true equality EVEN if the states vote to allow marriage.

      Thank you bigots, by being ugly so publicly you do nothing but help us.

      Nov 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JDJase

      BTW, Boeing hasn’t been “Seattle-based” in over a decade…it’s in Chicago. It just has manufacturing operations in WA.

      Nov 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BiL

      Boeing please get off the crazy train.

      Nov 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charli Girl

      well well well boeing… Seems this is just wonderful news. As im sure ALL the right people WILL be informed AND remember your stance of being on the WRONG side of history!!! At least you made it known publicly. Thank you for that.

      Nov 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BayAreaHomo

      I am a regular flyer, and my two primary airlines are in good shape on this. Virgin America operates an all-Airbus fleet, and US Airways has been phasing out Boeing aircraft for Airbus aircraft for the last decade.

      Perhaps Iran Air or Air Uganda will be interested in Boeing aircraft.

      Nov 25, 2012 at 9:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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